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June 19, 2018
The global acceptance regarding medical cannabis has been growing immensely from the last couple of years and its latest demonstration comes in the form of WHO’s first ever review of cannabis and its derivates as a viable therapeutic product. In the first week of June, the officials from the UN’s global health agency sat down in Geneva to discuss the need and degree of international control on the strain, and came out with a report. Many experts are of the thought that this is the first step towards decriminalization of the plant, which is prohibited under many international accords.
A Relatively Safe Drug
One of the major breakthroughs of the meeting is that the WHO has recognized how cannabis is globally used to treat many different medical conditions. Moreover, the final report from the agency has termed MMJ a relatively safe drug. Prior to this meeting, the agency commissioned a survey in 31 different countries among MMJ patients. The agency has come to this conclusion after analyzing the survey report.
According to the survey, the majority of those patients have been using cannabis as a therapeutic substance for many years. In addition, a big chunk of surveyed patients was using it even before getting a formal recommendation from certified physicians.
The survey has also indicated some of the prevalent medical conditions for which cannabis is used. This includes chronic pains, multiple sclerosis, post-injury pains, major depressive disorder and sleep disturbance.
Aside from this survey, many other studies were also mentioned in the report. For instance, one of the studies notes that individual MMJ consumers use more amount of strain as compared to recreational users. The same study has also found out the MMJ patients have significantly lower ratios of alcoholism and nonprescription drug usage.
Cannabis Research Lags Behind
The report also notes that the research on cannabis’s therapeutic prospects is lagging in spite of its development in the right direction and great public demand. It is indeed true that cannabis research faces regressive laws that dissuade labs and researchers to continue it.
For instance, in US where MMJ research can’t progress the way it should due to the barriers erected by various federal agencies, albeit 29 states of the country (a majority!) has legalized marijuana for its medical use.
Development Around Medical Marijuana
The committee has also noted some significant characteristics of medical marijuana in connection with its medical use.
- Cannabis has been effective to treat sudden weight loss in HIV patients with its appetite stimulating attribute without having any bad effect on the viral load of the patient.
- The report also mentions clinical trials where cannabis has been studied for its painkilling effects against chronic and neuropathic pains.
- Cannabis-derived products are also effective in treating different neurodegenerative diseases. For example, cannabis can improve the motor activity of Parkinson’s patients. Similarly, the drug has a positive effect on people suffering from dementia.
This report is certainly a promising development for the domain of medical marijuana and will help in making ground for global cannabis reforms.